The twelve of us were piled into one van, driving down a windy road. No other cars or pedestrians in sight. It sounds crazy I know, but crazy was just a part of who we were. David was driving Chris's van and we were listening to a catchy Christmas tune found on a playlist created by Stacy.
"How much longer until we reach the airport?" I asked.
David checked the GPS that was built into the van, "Twenty minutes." I heard him whisper, "Wait that can't be right. We've been on the road for almost half a day." We were on our way to the Christmas Land airport, about to go on our annual skiing trip. He checked the GPS again when a ghostly white figure appeared in front of the car. "Shit!" David swerved and missed the mysterious figure. He did not, however, miss the wild Christmas trees that lined the sides of the road. "Is everyone okay?"
"I'm good," stated Greg.
"What the heck was that?" asked Kate.
Chris got out of the van to check the damage, "My car!" The rest of us joined him outside. There were multiple scratches on the driver's door, but it looked as if it was made by a bear. Odd...the woods are hours away.
"It looks pretty scratched up," said Stacy.
"I think some of the windows are broken," David pointed out.
"Damn, you're lucky that's all that needs fixing," stated Joshua. Chris did not seem amused by the comment made from Josh. He shrugged and said, "Sorry."
"What do we do now?" asked Aaron.
"Find a place to crash for the night, I guess," suggested Sam.
"Oh, let's find a really fancy hotel! Like the Holdiay Inn!" shouted Alexis.
"With a fireplace in the room," Alice nodded her head in agreement.
"And who is going to pay for it? You two?" asked Lauren.
"Look over there, just up the road is a bed and breakfast with a car shop across from it." I stated. "How convenient." A little too convenient.
"Let's just get our luggage and walk to the B&B," said an angry Chris.
We all grabbed our stuff from the van and walked to the B&B. The closer we got, the more familiar it looked to me. Have I been here before? "Hey, Greg how long has this place been here?"
My boyfriend, Greg shrugged in response. "I know don't know babe; I think it's new."
New? You think I would have heard of a new place opening in a small town like this. I shook my feelings off about this and lead the group inside the bed and breakfast. David rang a silver bell that was placed on a desk along with milk and cookies that were left out for Santa Claws as stated on a note. "Claws? Don't they mean Clause?" David asked. He rang the bell, and a woman came over to the desk. She checked something on the computer that was placed on the counter.
The woman's name tag had Vanessa written across it, no last name. Come to think of it, I can't recall my last name. My thoughts were interrupted by the woman standing behind the desk. "Hello! Welcome to the Holly Tree Inn, one of the best highly rated B&Bs in all of Christmas Land!"
Greg whispered in my ear, "Wow, she's loud." I smirked at his comment.
Stacy went up to the desk to explain our rather unfortunate situation, "Hi, our van hit a Christmas tree and now we are stranded. Do you have any rooms available?"
Vanessa smiled, "We do have one room available but there are only two beds."
We all looked at each other and silently agreed that it was okay.
Chris stepped up to the desk and asked, "How much is the room?"
Vanessa kept on smiling, "Well since you crashed your van and all, it's on the house!"
"Also, the room is still being renovated so technically I'm really not supposed to let anyone stay here."
The room was being renovated along with the building after a dead body was found. Wait...how did I know that?
"Thank you so much," said Alexis.
"We can't stay here-" I was about to protest but I forgot my reason why.
Vanessa talked over me, "Before you go, here is a flyer for the annual Winter Wonderland festival and theme park. The park will open next week, and the festival starts the day after opening."
I looked at the flyer, Winter Wonderland....didn't that shut down years ago? I felt a pain in my forehead and let out a groan.
"Are you okay?" asked Alexis.
"Yeah, I'm fine." What happened?
Vanessa showed us to our room upstairs. There were two beds, each with tacky Christmas colored blankets on them. The wallpaper has been torn and we could see the pipes in the bathroom. Kate, Stacy, and I shared a bed while Alexis, Alice, and Lauren shared the other. Luckily, we brought our camping gear, so the boys slept in sleeping bags on the floor.
"Alright, so I called a tow truck, and they are on their way to pick up the van and will take it to the shop across the road. It won't cost much, and we will be out of here by tomorrow," said a happy Chris.
"I would cheer, but I'm too lazy," Alexis mumbled.
Soon, we all went to bed, Alice got up to use the bathroom downstairs since we couldn't use the one in our room. She let out an ear-piercing scream when she opened the door to the hallway.
We all woke up with worried looks on our faces. Except David who wiped his groggy eyes, "It's two in the morning, what is happening?"
Alice pointed to the floor, "Look! It's a..... it's a...."
Stacy rolled her eyes, "Damn it, woman! What is it?"
"It's a mouse!" Alice replied.
We all groaned in annoyance and rolled our eyes.
Lauren groaned, "Who cares? It's too early for this."
I went over to Alice to get a closer look at the mouse. It was brown with glazed over white eyes. The furry creature was dead and seemed to have been frozen in ice that was now melting. Who freezes mice? "Huh, that's weird."
"Isn't anyone going to kill it?" asked a worried Alice.
Greg crossed his arms "It's clearly already dead."
"Who cares about a damn mouse, I am going back to sleep!" stated a very angry Chris.
The rest went back to sleep, but I was curious. Something was off about this mouse and this B&B.
"Hey, let's go talk to the lady downstairs."
Alice offered me a smile. "Okay."
I picked up the mouse and wrapped it in a towel from out bathroom. We went downstairs and told Vanessa about the dead pest. She was pissed, "Look here girls. We do not have a rodent problem."
"Look!" I opened the towel and showed her the dead mouse, most of the ice had melted.
Vanessa yelped, "What the hell? Why is it frozen? Did you do this?"
"Of course not."
She was frightened, "We've never had a mouse or rat in this building. We also don't have any freezers because all of our food is made fresh and from scratch. Christmas Land hasn't seen snow in years, that ice should be completely melted by now."
Something was wrong here......something was very wrong.
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